Water Supply

A Reliable Supply of Water

The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) has the statutory authority to plan for and acquire supplemental water supplies and to encourage water conservation and use of recycled water supplies on a regional basis. Water supply reliability is one of BAWSCA’s key goals and is achieved in many ways.

Interim Water Shortage Allocation Plan

The Interim Water Shortage Allocation Plan is an agreement between BAWSCA agencies and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to eliminate contractual penalties to conservation during times of drought. The plan clarifies how water is to be shared between the SFPUC and BAWSCA entities, and how water is shared among the BAWSCA agencies. It also allows for water banking by agencies that use less than their allowance, and allows transfer of banked water among the parties.

Tuolumne River Technical Advisory Committee

To ensure water supply reliability on the Tuolumne River, the primary source of water for the San Francisco regional water system, BAWSCA is a stakeholder in the salmon2Tuolumne River Technical Advisory Committee. The Committee is responsible for implementing river restoration projects on the Lower Tuolumne River to enhance habitat for spawning Chinook salmon. In March 1999, the Committee prepared the “Habitat Restoration Plan for the Lower Tuolumne River Corridor.” This plan guides restoration planning, funding and project implementation. The restoration was required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in renewing the power-generating license for the New Don Pedro Dam on the Tuolumne River. BAWSCA is closely monitoring progress on this long-term project to improve conditions for Chinook salmon and other species. For more information, visit tuolumnerivertac.com.

The rest of this section profiles some of the progressive water conservation programs implemented by BAWSCA agencies, along with efforts to promote water recycling. Another crucial element in achieving water supply reliability is ensuring dependable facilities for water delivery. To that end, BAWSCA is working with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to implement the $2.9 billion capital improvement program. In particular, BAWSCA wants to ensure the aging water system is fixed and upgraded to withstand the seismic events expected to occur on the earthquake faults that cross under the system.

Left photo courtesy of the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center